EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (KMOX) – Lee Crutchfield of Cahokia is going to prison for life for beating his girlfriend’s son to death.
The sentence was handed down Monday.
Last December, it took a St. Clair County jury one hour to find the 39 year-old guilty of the murder on Christmas eve of 2005.
Ryon Smith’s body was found on the bedroom floor of the home Crutchfield shared with the boy’s mother.
Prosecutors said Crutchfield tortured Ryon, locked him in a closet for days and beat him, leaving bruises. The child died of blunt trauma to the head and torso. Crutchfield argued the boy died after an epileptic seizure.
Crutchfield was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.